Match Report -
Celtic win at Harrogate for the first time
By Iain Benson
Celtic took all three points for the first time at the Wetherby Road CNG Stadium with a single goal the difference between the two sides.

On a pitch that looked in a terrible state before the game started a smooth passing game was obviously out of the question. Celtic re-introduced Alex Meechan back into the starting line up on loan from Altrincham. With Keith Briggs suspended, Richard Battersby moved into the midfield role.

Some good build up play from the off allowed Meechan to register the first shot of the game, lifting the ball past Gray and volleying on the turn, it was a difficult chance, and it only just cleared the bar. A mad scramble at the other end saw first Marshall denied by a good save, before former Celtic front man, James Dean, followed up only to see his shot blocked on the line, as the ball came back in, Dean flattened Keeling and Harrogate?s pressure was lost.

A classic goalkeeping error from Provett followed up, a back pass from Peat to Provett saw the Harrogate keeper dally on the ball as Meechan closed him down. Provett tried a trick which saw Meechan leap with Provett kicking, before Provett did slice the ball, and fell over. The sliced ball fell at Joynes?s feet, without bouncing, and Joynes fired it straight into the back of the net from twenty-five yards.

There was a good spell of pressure from Celtic after the goal, including what looked like a good penalty shout on Meechan, Meechan?s rising shot just clearing the bar, and Torpey making the space for a shot, only for Provett to make a decent stop. Smart tried a shot on the run, but again, Provett made up for his earlier gaff with another good stop.

The second half was always going to more difficult than the first with the already poor pitch deteriorating. Nicky Platt was brought on for Battersby who had covered every mud covered blade of grass, and almost got on the score sheet with a decent effort from the edge of the box. A free kick conceded by Peat within Smart missile range saw the Celtic man?s shot fly low across the ground, and miss by inches with Provett blindsided by his own wall.

As the game went into the final quarter of an hour Harrogate pressed without producing. Phillips had to be on his toes from a Smith free kick, but like Celtic in the second half, Harrogate failed to get any other shots on target; a hopeful effort from Dean sailing high and wide, Marshall latching onto a free kick and shooting across the face and Peat doping similar, firing wide of the target with a looping effort.

Celtic survived a series of corners as the game wore on and seemed never ending, before the final whistle brought Celtic to within a point of the play off spots. With Celtic hopefully playing local neighbours Hyde on Tuesday (weather permitting) a win could well propel Celtic to fifth.

1Provett, Jim  
2Hardy, Aaron  
3Lowe, Danny  
4Gray, Nicky  
5Whittle, Justin  
6Peat, NathanYellow Card 
7Young, Matty  
8Smith, Jamie  
9Dean, James  
10Holland, Danny  
11Marshall, Richard  
12Hirst, Tom  
14Ormsby, Liam  
15Delaney, Jake  
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